The drive to the stadium went without any problems. At one point Anya played some loud heavy metal on the cars system. Tara winced at the sounds, looked at her and said, "How you call that stuff music is beyond me" before she pulled over to the side of the road, opened the back pack she was carrying, took out an MP3 player, put the headphones on, and started driving again.
Willow and Cordelia, who were sitting on the backseat of the car, looked at eachother and shared a smile.
Once Tara had pulled up in the parking lot, she waited while the others got out of the car. Then she took her player off, and got out of the car herself. Anya and Cordelia had walked ahead, so Willow had decided to wait for the blonde.
Willow waited at the hood till Tara caught up with her, and then they began to walk towards the stadium, side by side. "So...." Willow began, trying to think of something to say. "Um, who was the guy driving yesterday?"
"Oh that was my Mom's chauffer...he was in town for a couple of days to pick something up for Mom, and insisted that he drive me everywhere for those two days" Tara said. "Wait...what's that???"
She stopped and pointed at a couple of reporters and photographers standing around the UC Sunnydale team. Willow looked, and said "I have no idea".
Coach Giles, who was standing with the team, saw Tara and Willow approach and nodded in their direction. The reporters immediately turned and began to walk their way. "Oook whats happening???" Tara asked again, looking at Willow. Even though she was wearing sun glasses, Willow had the distinct impression that Tara's eyes were open wide at the moment.
Again Willow said "I have no idea".
Tara unconsciously moved a few steps behind Willow, as the reporters got closer. Willow counted, there were four of them...one woman and three men.
When they got close enough to the girls to be heard, the tallest man spoke up. "Tara Maclay? I'm David Hicks, with the Sunnydale times. We just wanted to ask you a couple of questions...about the tournament and stuff...?"
When Tara didn't immediately answer, Willow turned her way. She noticed that Tara seemed very uncomfortable, so she asked the blonde in a gentle voice "Tara, you think that'll be ok with you?"
Tara turned her attention to Willow, and nodded so slowly that it seemed like it took an eternity for her to make her decision. "Alright" she said slowly, looking back at the reporters.
The four began shooting questions at her, about the tournament, about what she thought UC's chances were, about handball in general, who her favourite teams were. During the course of the 'interview' Willow learned a lot more about Tara's game. Tara had been playing handball for the last five years, she was put up for selections at Nationals her first year itself, though she actually made it into the team in her second year. By the fourth year she was captaining the state team at Nationals, and this year talk was that she was going to be selected to play in the under 21 U.S team. In fact, there were rumours that Nike was going to approach her for a sponsorship deal at the end of this tournament.
"Wow" Willow thought. She really was impressed. Willow noticed two of the reporters stopping to take pictures of Tara every now and then, thinking "Everything about this girl is impressive."
Willow kept listening to Tara speak "...well right now my priority is to win this tournament. I mean UC Sunnydale has never won this tournament, and this year I think we have a real shot at the title..."
The woman asked "So if you reach the finals, do you think your mother will come watch?"
For the first time in the question answer session Willow saw Tara falter. "Umm...well Mom's a really busy woman, so I really don't know if she'll be able to make it..." Tara said slowly.
One of the men promptly asked "So why don't you live in LA around your mother? Is it true you two don't get along?"
"No...no no no...that's not true..." Tara denied.
Willow saw that Tara wasn't taking the questions too well, and decided to step in and take charge. "Ok I think that's enough...Tara's got to get to the team." she said, walking up and taking Tara by the arm.
The reporters gave Willow a "who the hell do you think you are" look, but didn't argue with the redhead when they saw the look she gave back.They stood watching as she led the blonde away from them, still gently gripping her arm.